What is an RFID enabled Wallet & Should I get one?
When searching for a new wallet to buy you might have stumbled across the term RFID and wondered what it means. Before we go into the technical details let’s discuss the actual practical reasons why wallets have RFID protection and how they can keep you safe.
Put simply an RFID wallet is one which protects you from credit/debit card fraud. With contactless payments on the rise scanners have started trying to steal money by using a basic contactless card reader to charge your card unknowingly. As more and more countries implement contactless payment it’s only going to lead to increasing numbers of this crime.
How does RFID work?
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification Devices. RFID, Radio Frequency Identification, is a technology that lets you simply wave your credit or identification card, passport or license in front of a nearby scanner instead of having to slide the magnetic stripe through it. The electronic scanner sends a signal which is received by an antenna embedded into the card, which is connected to the card’s RFID chip, thus activating it. Unfortunately, criminals with minimal technical skills can construct their own RFID readers with a few simple supplies.
Should I get a Wallet with RFID Protection?
That’s entirely up to you. Most wallet brands like to charge a small price for RFID protection. If you feel that you live in a country where this type of crime is high then without a doubt this small increase in the cost of your wallet will pay for itself. But many countries at the moment don’t actually have contactless payments as standard so it might not be worth spending the additional money for RFID protection.
I actually come from the United Kingdom and contactless payments is actually the norm at the moment. Nearly everybody has a contactless credit or debit card. Nevertheless, contactless fraud is not a very common crime and data shows a very small percentage of people have ever experienced said crime.
I wouldn’t recommend paying over the odds for RFID protection. For example many wallets only charge an additional $10 for the features. Some brands like to push their look charging up to $30 extra. Just be wary and make sure the wallet is value for money for what the feature actually is.
What are the Best RFID Blocking Wallets?
That’s an entirely subjective opinion. RFID wallets are just the same as standard wallets. If they have it then that’s a plus, but it’s not going to influence my decision to not get a wallet I really like just because it doesn’t have that feature. I recommend not worrying about RFID protection. If you’re unlucky enough to suffer from this crime then you’re exactly that unlucky and form part of a 1%.